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Glencoe reopens (Trip?)

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Over on PISTE there has been a thread about Glencoe ski area reopening.

MarkP suggested it as a possible Snowheads trip.

It's a long way to go. And with Scottish snow you have to go up when the snow is good rather than arranging it long in advance.

However, if people travelled up (at least to Glasgow) on the Friday evening we could get 2 days over a weekend: perhaps one of them at Nevis Range and one at Glencoe (they are about 35 miles apart, I think). If we stayed at Ballachulish or Glencoe village (the most obvious place) we'd be between the two.
I once skied a whole day at Glencoe (till 5.00) changed, and drove back to my house in north London, arriving about 1.45am.
Car sharing would be a good idea, or if people wanted to go up to Glasgow by train or Easyjet, we could hire a minibus and drive from there. It's a lovely drive up from Glasgow Very Happy (less than 70 miles from the airport to Glencoe's skiing).


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Thu 1-07-04 16:04; edited 3 times in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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Depending on dates etc., I'd be up for it.
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snowball, definately I'd be up for it - i talked about going to scottyland on a thread a while ago, buying a couple of weekends flights and using them if the snow conditions were good.

I start training in Mid Feb so anytime in Jan, or first weekend in Feb are dates i am going to look at flights.
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Glencoe: Meall a'Bhuirdh
Glencoe this Jan. The Spring run, I think.
Glencoe looking down the Flypaper, Short (that's all of it) and very steep!
Glencoe: the Canyon (Top of the access lift top right.)
Nevis Range: the back: one entry point[url=http://winterhighland.com/nevisrange/pics/large/jan_17_04_06.jpg]
Nevis Range, Goose Gully[/url] No sun, so you can't see it well, but this is one of the main runs on the front.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Fri 2-07-04 8:24; edited 10 times in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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BLOOMING HELL Shocked Shocked Shocked that looks blooming fantastic!! snowHead
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Well, except for the last one I did try to choose pics that made it look special. Cool And it was the best snow of the season. (Rocks showing through boilerplate is normal)
As far as I am concerned the best thing is the Nevis Range back bowl.
Don't expect any runs to be very long in Scotland. The whole Glencoe ski area is tiny (but rather nice).

PS I've added more since you posted, Dan.
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markP, mountain mad, David Goldsmith, and Nadenoodlee, on the PISTE thread on Glencoe seem to like the idea!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
snowball, The "Nevis Range; the back; one entry point" looks like it could be from the Alps with so much snow cover visible into the distance.

Is there not a call for some heli sliding in Scottyland with all that snow available or are all of the areas protected??? or is it just that that was an incredible day and most days the weather is not suitable for helicopter etc??
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Its easy for me to get there, but the snow is sooooo unpredictable! Takes about 2.5hrs from Glasgow to Glencoe and about 3-3.25hrs to Nevis Range, depending on which way you go.

Well if you lot do come up i'll drive you up from the airport, can borrow the mini bus from family business.
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Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Mon 5-07-04 19:43; edited 1 time in total
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Dan wrote:
snowball, The "Nevis Range; the back; one entry point" looks like it could be from the Alps with so much snow cover visible into the distance.

Is there not a call for some heli sliding in Scottyland with all that snow available or are all of the areas protected??? or is it just that that was an incredible day and most days the weather is not suitable for helicopter etc??

That was an unusual amount of snow for recent years. There wouldn't be enough snow enough of the time to create a demand. Even the resorts (if you can call them that) are struggling with the reduced snow allowing either no skiing or severely reduced skiing most of the last few years. And in any case I think the Scottish skiing doesn't warrant it, despite that picture. It's mostly locals doing it cheap. If you wanted to pay for heli-skiing you'd go to the Alps (or America) and get hugely greater descents. (Scotland's (ie UK's) highest mountain, Ben Nevis is only 1,344 metres, though it does start at sea level.)

Generally Scottish skiing is between 2,000ft and 4,000ft max (Nevis Range, and Aviemore if you climb up a bit). ie. maximum of about 600 metres vertical, but usually about half that (Glencoe 360 metres vertical).
I have skied down to the Glencoe bottom station (at 1,000ft) but that usually isn't possible these days.

Here are all the Scottish PISTE MAPS.

Some local people do do ski touring in Scotland though. I tried it once: (see near bottom of page).
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Nadenoodlee wrote:
Its easy for me to get there, but the snow is sooooo unpredictable! Takes about 2.5hrs from Glasgow to Glencoe and about 3-3.25hrs to Nevis Range, depending on which way you go.

Well if you lot do come up i'll drive you up from the airport, can borrow the mini bus from family business.

2.5 hours to Glencoe from Glasgow! Surely not. That must include abou 3/4 hour to get to the edge of Glasgow. Its only 70 miles from the airport to Glencoe skiing and the road is reasonably fast except the short bit by Dumbarton, and the second half of Loch Lomond.

Thanks alot for the minibus offer !!

Its probably not worth doing unless it looks like being a better year than the last two.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
snowball, Its a teeny weeny windy road!!! going up past Loch Lomond takes ages! and you have to allow for the road up into the highlands being passable! I went up there Easter Monday and even with light traffic it was a long trek! It might say its an A road but that just means its got tarmac!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Yes, the Loch Lomond second half isbeautiful but very windy and terribly slow, (especially if you get behind a caravan). But I normally expect to take less than 2 hours. Snow on the road might make a difference, though.
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Yes am interested...
If we can decide on a good weekend will take friday and monday off and drive up so I can bring mountain bike also in case there's no snow.
Can't do April (going to Whistler!!!) or the first weekend in a month...

Question for those that know the scottish skiing scene - is our best bet Jan, Feb, Mar or April?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Last season I think it was mid January but in the past I gather it has been better better later (though probably not as late as April) when the snow has had time to build up. Can someone who lives up there tell us? Nadenoodlee? Lager ? David Goldsmith ? see this old thread when Glencoe was threatened:

To drive up I usually reckon about 9 hours plus any stops from London, if there are no jams (but that's a big if). M1, M6, A74(dual) M74, M8, (Erskine bridge), A8 (Loch Lomond), A82 via Tyndrum. It's alot of driving Shocked . But I did it a couple of times, years ago when the snow was more reliable (in terms of actually existing in some form, however windswept).
The actual Glen of Glencoe is between the skiing and Glencoe village (by the sea) and is really spectacular, as long as the mountains aren't hidden by cloud, which happens sometimes.
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If you can do it, the best thing is to go when conditions and the forecast look good. I almost went up to board on Jan 17th last year as it looked like it would be good. The only thing that stopped me was that I was in the Alps for a long weekend the weekend before and my wife would feel more of a snow widow than usual. Unfortunately I missed out on the day of the season.

The snow normally hangs on until early May, especially at Cairngorm and Nevis and to a lesser extent Glencoe (which has better snow holding but is lower). However the resorts closed pretty early this year in mid April, despite having conditions as good or better than had existed all season. With easter being a bit earlier this season I wouldn't plan any later than early April as they might shut any time after that.

Contrary to popular belief though, there will generally be snow somewhere, even if it's confined to the higher runs on Nevis, Cairngorm and Glencoe. But it's the weather that can sometimes spoil the party and so in that respect April is a better bet. Although as that party of school kids found to there cost last week bad weather can strike anytime on the Scottish mountains (although you could say that about all mountain ranges).

I'm going to try and get there a few more times next year, especially with Flybe starting a service from Southampton to Glasgow. The Ryanair flight from Bournemouth flies into Prestwick which isn't as good for getting to Glencoe/Nevis, whereas Glasgow Airport is on the west which is much better for getting there. You could probably do the Airport to Fort William in about 2 hours with a hire car*, provided you don't get stuck behind anything in the twisty bit by Loch Lomond**.

* Hire cars are of course much faster than ordinary cars. Toofy Grin

** The RAC reckons on about 2 1/2 hours but I've always found there timings to be unbelievably pessimisitic and I don't drive particularly quickly. The White Corries and Glencoe are about 1/2 an hour less than that.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Mon 5-07-04 15:00; edited 1 time in total
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Lager, Jesus Christ! dont ever let me get in a car with you! you say about 2 hrs to Fort William? Yeah maybe if it was a straight road with no one else on it, in summer and I was driving a super fast car!

And Prestwick is only about 35mins from the M8, so if the only flight that you dont need to remortgage your house for is to Prestwick then id take it!
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Nadenoodlee wrote:
Lager, Jesus Christ! dont ever let me get in a car with you! you say about 2 hrs to Fort William? Yeah maybe if it was a straight road with no one else on it, in summer and I was driving a super fast car!



From where though? It's not much more than 2 hours from the airport, provided the traffic is kind. Also is probably a bit optimistic if you don't know the route so well. OK, call it the 2 1/2 hours the RAC says, just in case it rains as well. But it's only 100 miles and apart from the section by Loch Lomond (which isn't as long as it feels like when your stuck behind a lorry or a caravan) you can pretty much maintain a steady 60mph.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Unfortunatley, in my experience, if the snow's really good to ski on in Scotland then the roads are really bad to drive on.
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So later in the year looks like a good idea...
I can't do April - going to Whistler - yipppeee, and the last weekend of March is Easter, which is probably worth avoiding - so 19th March could work????
Am pencilling it in my diary... unless as a collective another date becomes popular - which would require us to all agree (shock horror!!!! Laughing rolling eyes )
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Lager, I'm nearer your timings. If there isn't snow on the road, though, nadenoodlee's minibus might be slower than a car. (No need for hire when nade's about).
But was the back at Nevis Range snowy enough to ski (and ski round to the lifts at the front again ?). Could you ski the back late in the season?
I know the lifts around the back at Nevis Range didn't even open most of the season. I was there just after Christmas and only the flat, top run was open so I didn't bother.

PS Of course I meant Glasgow's own airport, not Prestwick, which is much further.


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Wed 7-07-04 10:44; edited 1 time in total
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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Hi Snowball et al.

Did the Glasgow-Glencoe journey by car in about an hour and a half last month. A friend of mine(and I believe of yours as well, Snowball!) made a few skiing trips to Glencoe in March and April of this year in that time as well. I would recommend the sleeper(as I don't travel particularly well) to get to Glencoe, Nevis Range, or Aviemore. If you're travelling from London, you could check the weather, if it's good: catch the train Fri evening, and after a short cab ride be skiing Saturday morning. Day of departure tickets were about 150 quid(can't get the pound sign on my keyboard for some reason)- check with Scotrail. Sounds steep but I think of it as a train journey plus 2 nights b&b chucked in for free!
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Kit Wong, you must have a strange keyboard (the £ is over 3 on mine).
Yes, it is a possibility, though a bit expensive. I take your point about the B & B. I've not done it myself. Do you know if it gets booked up or if you can wait and see what the snow is doing?

I've had a few more comments about the snow on the Piste - Glencoe thread about snow. It seems, as I thought, that the back of Nevis (which is most of the point for me) really didn't open most of last season due to a lack of snow on the lower slopes of the skiing area, which cut the long traverse which brings you back to the lowest point of the (drag) lifts at the front. My worry is that late in the season the snow line retreats up the mountain a bit and this may make it less likely that the back is open than earlier. (I'm not sure if my logic is born out by the past facts, though). Years ago, when I went there several times, there was always enough snow, it was storms and the quality of the snow which were the issue.


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Wed 7-07-04 14:26; edited 1 time in total
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Kit Wong, snowball, it's probably a US (or European) one, or is set-up to act like one.

If the character above the 3 is a # then it is a US one. You can get it act like a UK one, but it would be very confusing to use.

If the character above the 3 is a £ then it is a UK but set-up to act like a US one. You can change it under the Control Panel | Regional and Language Options to act properly like a UK one.
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Interesting. But I'm not too bothered as long as I know where to find things. If I press alt and 3 I get #
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Thanks Skanky. I lost the @ key as well. The boot disk I used to recover my system, after I formatted the hard disk, was for a US keyboard.

Snowball- I've never had problems with Sleeper availibility, even booking last minute. Try it, it's less stressful than driving or flying.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Yes, I can imagine. I go to the alps on the overnight skitrain whenever possible. I don't know why more people don't (8 days skiing instead of 6 for the same price!)
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Kit Wong, no problem. Glad I could be of help.
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I would be up for Glencoe/Nevis. I haven't skied there but wouldn't be too far for me. I can get the ferry to Troon and travel up.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Kit Wong, Flying isnt stressful- being on a skanky train for 10 hours would be though!! ( sorry to use ur name in vain again skanky, )
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Nadenoodlee, no probs.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Nadenoodle- . Flying may not be stressful, unless your plane gets hijacked or if you run out of fuel, but getting to the airport is; as is the queuing at the check-in, security gates, boarding gate, luggage carousel etc. Queues=stress. The Scotrail sleepers maybe a bit slow, but they are pretty much skank-free. Now the French couchettes and Czech sleepers on the other hand, are pretty skanky.
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Yup. never been on a Scotrail sleeper. Nor a French or Czech one, whatever the rumours may say.

You know, "pretty" & "skanky" are not normally words that are used together.
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Nadenoodlee, How are you for skiing on the spur of the moment when snow is good?
Can you do weekdays or only weekends?
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snowball, Im flexible - can do both! Boss is a ski junkie too so as soon as it gets good i'll be there!

Was even thinking of selling my car and getting a big honda thingey to get me there come rain or shine or snow! Dont think fiat cinquecento's are the ideal "all terrain vehicle"
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OK, I'll call you if I am considering going (if that's OK).
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Nadenoodlee, you might be surprised how well your little buggy will perform on snow. Years ago near Aviemore, the only thing that was moving was a Citroen 2CV - small, light, narrow tyres which cut down through the snow very well, while other cars on flatter tyres couldn't hack the conditions. Glencoe is on the main road which will be cleared as well as possible by the authorities. So's Glenshee but the road is much higher. Nevis I don't know about but I don't think the access is high and being near the sea should be relatively snow-free. Aviemore could be your problem. Good Luck.
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kuwait_ian, Well it is my favourite car in the whole world! and is remarkably nippy considering its practically a glorified lawn mower! So it would be a shame to get rid of it! I just wonder where id put my skis!!?
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kuwait_ian wrote:
Nevis I don't know about but I don't think the access is high and being near the sea should be relatively snow-free. Aviemore could be your problem. Good Luck.
Nevis is almost at Sea level with an access gondola to the skiing, which is between 2,000 - 4,000ft.
You can see the sea nearby and ranks of mountains as far as Skye on good days.
The most exciting skiing is the back bowl.
Best of all there are (almost) no snow fences to hold the snow in place, which are such a (necessary) blight in the east.


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Thu 4-11-04 12:54; edited 1 time in total
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